Asian markets mixed as China export data offsets impact of Wall Street’s retreat

Asian markets mixed as China export data offsets impact of Wall Street’s retreat

Nikkei declines slightly; SMIC shares plunge in Hong Kong after threat of U.S. export restrictions

Asian markets were mixed in early trading Monday, following a sharp selloff on Wall Street last week.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 NIK, -0.41% dipped 0.3% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index HSI, 0.14% gained 0.1%. The Shanghai Composite SHCOMP, -0.58% declined 0.2% while the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite 399106, -0.82% retreated 0.2%. South Korea’s Kospi 180721, 0.58% rose 0.7%, while benchmark indexes in Taiwan Y9999, -0.29% , Singapore STI, 0.20% and Indonesia JAKIDX, -0.13% were mixed. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 XJO, 0.27% were little changed.

Stocks in Hong Kong and mainland China improved after the release of data that showed China’s August exports were stronger than expected from the prior year, after another strong increase in July.

Shares of Chinese chip maker Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. 981, -19.66% tumbled about 20% in Hong Kong trading after a Wall Street Journal report that the Trump administration is considering placing export restrictions against it, as it has with fellow chip maker Huawei Technologies.

U.S. markets are closed Monday for the Labor Day holiday. Last week, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite COMP, -1.26% saw a 3.3% weekly decline, its largest since March, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.56% fell 1.8% and the S&P 500 SPX, -0.81% lost 2.3%.

“We view the latest selloff as a bout of profit-taking after a strong run,” said Mark Haefele, chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management, in a note Friday.

“Stocks have had a nervy start to trading Monday after the massive two-day slide for global equities since June left investors on edge,” Stephen Innes, chief global markets strategist at AxiCorp, wrote in a note Monday. “In the short-term, more so with U.S. markets closed today, it should remain an extremely choppy affair, with bounces likely being sold by design.”

In energy trading, U.S. benchmark crude CLV20, -1.94% fell to $39.34 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude BRNX20, -1.57% , the international standard, slipped to $42.30 a barrel.

The dollar USDJPY, 0.05% inched up to 106.29 Japanese yen from 106.24 yen Friday.

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